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Percussion Camp

June 26-30, 2017 at the WVU Creative Arts Center

The 6th annual WVU Summer Percussion Camp will include clinics and workshops by the WVU Percussion faculty George Willis, Dr. Michael Vercelli, and Brian Wolfe. In addition to clinics with faculty, performances by The Willis Duo, Mountain Men Percussion Ensemble, Dr. David Newcomb, and others, the camp will expose high school percussion students to the highest level of musicianship. Other activities include percussion ensemble rehearsals and performances, drum line activities, and more.


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Guest Artists

George Willis

Professor George R. Willis is the Director of Percussion Studies at West Virginia University where he oversees percussion lessons, percussion ensemble rehearsals, the music education percussion class, and other related percussion courses.  He performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and most recently toured with the orchestra in Germany and Austria. Professor Willis can be heard on multiple recordings by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, as well as on a recording entitled "Desertscapes" on the MMC label, on which he performs Alice Countryman’s Concerto for Marimba. Mr. Willis also performs with his wife, Ellen-Maria Willis, in an ensemble called The Willis Duo. Professor Willis is the director of the Mountaineer Fifes and Drums, a regularly scheduled course at WVU. Professor Willis has spent the last few years performing and researching fife and drum music throughout the eastern U.S., in addition to attending the Fasnacht fife and drum festival in Basel, Switzerland.


Michael Vercelli

Dr. Michael B. Vercelli is the director of the World Music Performance Center at West Virginia University. Michael holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance with a minor in Ethnomusicology from the University of Arizona. Dr. Vercelli has received many awards for both his performance and study of indigenous music and has released recordings with master Ghanaian xylophonists Tijan Dorwana and Bernard Woma. Michael has received the Snowshoe Institute Award of Excellence for Scholarship in the Arts and the WVU College of Creative Arts awards for Outstanding Service and Internationalizing the College. Dr. Vercelli has published in the Percussive Arts Society’s journal, Percussive Notes, and in the third edition of Gary Cook’s Teaching Percussion. He is a Meinl Percussion artist and a member of the Vic Firth educational team.


Brian Wolfe

Internationally known drum set artist Brian Wolfe performed and recorded with a number of diverse artists and producers, and has maintained a busy schedule of extensive international touring with artists including David Byrne, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Maynard Ferguson. In addition to being the drummer on various recording sessions led by Grammy-nominated producers Phil Ramone, Mitchell Froom, Gabe Roth, Mark Ronson, and Mike Viola, Brian has performed on a number of national television shows including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, Michael Buble’s Christmas in Hollywood, Later with Jules Holland, Austin City Limits, Good Morning America, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Brian is an adjunct professor at WVU where he directs the drum set studies.


Mountain Men Percussion Ensemble

Mountain Men Percussion Ensemble

MMPE is an educational-based percussion ensemble comprised of WVU Percussion alumni.  Current members are George Willis, Kevin Zaczkiewicz, David Newcomb, and Travis Nestor.  The ensemble enjoys performing music from every aspect of the percussion repertoire including Ancient Rope drums, contemporary marching percussion, early percussion ensemble music (John Cage), as well as standard works from today’s popular percussion ensemble works.  MMPE is particularly interested in reaching out to young percussionists and sharing the joy of percussion ensemble music with students.  MMPE also performs the works of David Newcomb, composer and U.S. Army bandsman.